Equity and Family Empowerment

Winchester Public Schools - November 2021


Submitted by WPS Student Abigail

This month has been recognized as National Native American Indian heritage month since president George H. W. Bush first signed a joint resolution in 1990. November celebrates cultures, customs, and contributions of American Indians, Alaskan Natives, and indigenous tribes and people throughout America. It is celebrated and recognized to show a sense of gratitude and honor to the first Americans as well as to create a period for those individuals to celebrate and share their culture. Today I will share with you some customs and traditions of a few Native American tribes. I understand that many tribes have many different traditions and beliefs and I share with full understanding that I cannot begin to describe all of the beliefs or traditions. I will simply highlight a few traditions for a select few of the tribes in Native America.

Currently there are 574 nationally recognized tribes in America. Virginia’s recognized tribes include: Pamunkey Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe, Chickahominy Indian Tribe-Eastern Division, Upper Mattaponi Tribe, Rappahannock Tribe, Mattaponi, Monacan Indian Nation, Nansemond Indian Tribe, Cheroenhaka (Nottoway), Nottoway of Virginia, and Pattawomeck.

Click here for more Interesting Facts provided by Abigail.


Math & Science Resources Provided by Matthew Reames

Big picture

November Observances

  • November 11: Veteran's Day: Honors military veterans and the U.S. Armed Services.
  • November 15-19: American Education Week: Celebrates public education and honors individuals who are making a difference in ensuring every child in the U. S. receives a quality education.

Religious Observances

  • November 1: All Saints’ Day (Western Christian): Commemorates all known and unknown Christian saints. Eastern Christianity observes it on the first Sunday after Pentecost.
  • November 2: All Souls’ Day (Christian): Commemoration of all faithful Christians who are now dead. In Mexican tradition it is celebrated as Dia de los Muertos between October 31 and November 2, and is an occasion to remember dead ancestors and celebrate the continuity of life.
  • November 4: Diwali (Hindu): Also called Deepavali, “Festival of Lights”, it celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness, and knowledge over ignorance.
  • November 25: Thanksgiving Day: Following a 19th century tradition, it commemorates the Pilgrims’ harvest feast in the autumn of 1621. It is considered by some to be a "national day of mourning," in recognition of the conquest of Native Americans by colonists.
  • November 28 – December 24: Advent (Christian): A season of spiritual preparation in observance of the birth of Jesus the Christ.

As cited on ADL Calendar of Observances. Additional information is available on the Equity and Family Empowerment’s Calendar of Observances and Religious Observances.

An important way to cultivate a sense of belonging in educational settings is for students to see representations of themselves in every aspect of the school and district and to be in an environment where respect for differences is fundamental to the learning environment.

Here are a few snapshots of meaningful engagement happening through representation, project based learning about other cultures, and the cultivation of respect!

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Increasing Cultural Awareness of Refugee and Immigrant Students

The VDOE is offering professional learning opportunities for Increasing Cultural Awareness of Refugee and Immigrant Students (Superintendent’s Memo 283-21).

Registering for the asynchronous courses - managed by Virginia Tech’s Office of Continuing and Professional Education - may be completed by clicking on the following links:

Understanding the Backgrounds of Refugee Students and Families, with Emphasis on Afghanistan Refugees - Starts November 1 and ends on December 3, 2021.

Supporting Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth in U.S. Schools - Starts December 6, 2021 and ends January 7, 2022.

Engaging Immigrant and EL Families in a Virtual World - Starts January 17, 2022 and ends February 18, 2022.

Good Job

Sometimes we simply need a bit of inspiration. Enjoy!
Alicia Keys - Good Job | Cover by One Voice Children's Choir | A Tribute to Covid-19 Heroes

Previous Newsletter